Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire once again today after allegedly calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” during Prime Ministers Questions. The Labour leader has been scrutinised in the past for his questionable friendships (namely with members or representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah) and not doing enough to combat the rise of antisemitism within the Labour Party however the Islington MP has never been accused of being a misogynist before.
It’s certainly sparked a debate as to whether or not this is ethical conduct. Corbyn stated publicly this afternoon that he said, “stupid people”, although it’s very hard to determine whether this is true from such a short clip with no audio. Several lipreaders have come forward and said they believe he said “stupid woman”, the first syllable of the second word looks more like an O than an E, therefore his argument doesn’t add up.
This would be somewhat out of character for Corbyn; a staunch socialist who called for a statue of Mary Wollstonecraft to be built earlier this year, who many hail as the founder of feminism, which may be why, if he did say it, he won’t admit to it. The exact same phrase was used earlier this year by Philip Hammond, he publicly apologised, and it was quickly forgotten about. Although I doubt this will be forgotten any time soon.
If Corbyn did call Theresa May a “stupid woman”, does this make him a misogynist? This led to further discussion as to when and where the word “woman” becomes loaded? Would Corbyn calling David Cameron a “stupid man” two years ago caused the same uproar? I highly doubt it. If the shoe was on the other foot and Theresa May had called the Leader of the Opposition a stupid man, I can’t imagine that she would have been labelled a misandrist. Jeremy Corbyn may have called Theresa May a “stupid woman” but in my opinion, this by no means makes him a misogynist.
With less than one hundred days until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, you would hope that there would be more pressing issues however this seems to be the only story of significance from today’s Prime Ministers Questions.